The Hawaiian Martial Arts
The Boise State Broncos play the Hawaii Warriors today, which brings me to the subject of the Hawaiian martial arts.
As a kid I read in National Geographic magazine about the wars of ancient Hawaii, which were extremely brutal. The Hawaiians didn’t have metal, so they made “swords” and cutting weapons by embedding sharks’ teeth into wooden weapons, usually clubs.
The following appears at MythicHawaii.com:
One of the most interesting early arms of Hawaii is the shark toothed club. Although this name is some what a misnomer, due to the fact that the shark toothed weapons were used for slashing weapons. A round weapon may have 30 or more shark teeth around the edges, other varieties featured as few as 3 in a claw shape. Shark tooth also a proffered weapon of ancient Hawaiian nobles. Many weapons were hooked to grab limbs.
Short spears and stone clubs made up the bulk of Hawaiian close melee weapons. Short spears were not larger at the base like the longer pikes. Stone clubs were in fact stone maces, similar to European designs.
Hawaiian weapons also included wooden tripping weapons, or pikoi, which had long cords attached to variously shaped club-like heads with or without handles. The weighted part of the rope was thrown at an opponent’s legs to trip him, and then another weapon, perhaps a stone hand club shaped like today’s hand-held weights with bulbous ends and a slimmer connecting section to grasp, would be used to finish off the tripped enemy.